The Three Rivers Park District in Minneapolis, Minnesota has announced the launch of a GPS tracking system designed to help vulnerable guests from getting lost. The tracking system is designed to be used to allow visitors with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s or other conditions that give patients a tendency to wander, the ability to visit the park system without worry of getting lost. The new system, Protect And Locate (or P.A.L.) is available at 26 park locations in the area. With this device, caretakers can set a perimeter and be alerted when the party leaves the area, allowing caretakers to find the patient in minutes instead of hours. The PAL system involves a bracelet for the vulnerable party and a monitor to track them for the caretaker.
“[Families are] more reluctant to come to the parks for fear of losing a loved one, or having them go wander, and get into dangerous situation,” Police Chief Hugo McPhee said to Rachel Slavik in an article posted on CBS Minnesota. “This hopefully helps those families get out and enjoy what we have to offer,” McPhee said.
The tracking system is free for all families to use and if it is successful, may spur other park systems in the country to follow suit.